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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Avgolemono - Greek Lemon Chicken Soup



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If you're looking for a soup to span the seasons, I suspect you'll love this light chicken soup that's patterned after Avgolemono, a Greek soup made with chicken, rice and lemon broth. I've taken some real shortcuts with this recipe. Busy folks will love them, but they'll cost me points in my quest to earn a "foodie" merit badge. I hope you share my dislike of that word. It makes me downright uncomfortable. Someone, several years ago, decided there was an unpleasant class connotation associated with the words gourmet and gourmand. They, whoever "they" might be, wanted a word that spoke to the common man and the great unwashed. In a flash of brilliance, they plucked the word "foodie" from the rarefied atmosphere surrounding them and the era of the gourmet was put to rest. Those who love to cook and eat, and love other people who love to cook and eat, smiled and carried on, sure in the knowledge that the games and self-importance would continue unabated. I suspect we'll always remain on the outside looking in. We take shortcuts, make substitutions and listen more to table banter than the words of the current culinary super star. We - I - am a mess! I cook for fun, but I want my fun to be part of a life that revolves around more than food. I need great recipes, but I need shortcuts that make them feasible for my kitchen and family. Now here's where I'm going to get myself in trouble. I love deli chickens and canned broth. I love pre-minced garlic and, yes, I love frozen vegetables. The thing is, I want to consume my food rather than have it consume me. Now, if you want to make this soup from scratch I'll be the first to salute you. I did that once myself, and it was wonderful. It just wasn't necessary. What is necessary, is using the right kind of rice. Hopefully, you'll have access to (sushi)pearl or arborio rice. If not, use anything that works for you, save for instant or converted rice. The rice helps thicken the soup and give it its lovely creamy color. Don't overcook it. While I prefer to use fresh lemon juice for the soup, there have been occasions when I've used the bottled variety, and I'm happy to report the world didn't end. This is a very light soup and I think it works best for lunch. It takes about 30 minutes to prepare. Here's the recipe.

Avgolemono - Greek Lemon Chicken Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:

8 cups canned chicken broth
1 cup uncooked pearl or arborio rice
1/2 cooked deli-chicken, skinned, boned and coarsely chopped or shredded
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1) Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in rice, lower heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add chicken and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
2) Meanwhile, whisk egg whites in a small bowl until they are frothy. Stir in yolks and lemon juice and whisk to combine.
3) Remove 1 cup of broth from soup. Slowly whisk it into egg mixture. Add another cup of broth in the same manner. Remove soup from heat and pour egg mixture into it. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

You might also like these recipes:

Celery Soup - One Perfect Bite

Creamy Carrot Soup - One Perfect Bite
Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup - One Perfect Bite

54 comments :

Bridgett said...

A local Greek restaurant serves this fantastic lemon chicken soup that I crave. Yours looks just as heavenly. I can almost taste it from here.

Jessica {The Novice Chef} said...

This looks fabulous! I am so glad I discovered your blog!!

Debinhawaii said...

Looks delicious and I like your fast and easy tips. ;-)
I love Avgolemono--in fact I made a take on it with lamb meatballs from Sunset magazine this week to post on Sunday. Yum!

MaryMoh said...

This looks delicious. I have never added lemon juice to soup. I would love to try this. I love that tangy taste. Thanks for sharing.

Martha said...

This is one of our favorites and yes, I believe in shortcuts, too. As one TV Chef says, take help where you can get it!

3 hungry tummies said...

This is our favourite during the colder months too :)
What a comforting dish!

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

I could not agree more.
I do believe this soup looks like a lovely combination of flavors and textures!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I've only eat this soup once and it was fabulous. Hope you had a great St. Patrick's day.
Sam

Bellini Valli said...

In a pinch I like to use orzo as well. This soup is a perfect rendition!!

From the Kitchen said...

Good morning. The soup looks like sunshine! Just wanted to let you know that the Irish Soda Bread was/is delicious. Thank you so much for posting the recipe. It gave me the little push I needed. Oh, and my husband thanks you too.

Best,
Bonnie

Kim said...

I like all your tips and shortcuts too. I'm a fan of both canned broth and rotisserie chicken. This soup has been on my to do list for awhile now. Looks delicious.

Carla and Michael said...

Here,here, here! Bravo on this fantastic post. I fully agree with all of it. Yes, if you use good quality products the food police should just back off :)! I have seen this recipe several times in the past , however I've never gotten around to trying it. Now I have a reason to. Thank you for the inspiration. Looks wonderful,sounds even better.

Mum in Bloom said...

This soup looks wonderful and I'm looking forward to making it. I'd never heard the term "foodie" until I started blogging & posting my recipes. Then I thought am I one too? What is it? Thanks for the definition :) Again, this soup looks delightful.

NikiTheo said...

As a crazy Greek "foodie" I approve! :)
Your picture has me craving some right now. I'm so hungry now and I just finished breakfast!

Lori said...

This is one of my favorite soups Mary. Oh I just love the lemony goodness. Its sheer comfort in a bowl.

MONONOKE KITCHEN said...

What a beautiful site you have!

I adore soups and this combination sounds heavenly...

Have a delicious day!

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, you said everything I've been thinking for a long time. So glad I'm not alone in my thoughts. I love avgolemono and will try this version
xoxo Pattie

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Mary, this chicken soup sound healthy and yummy!

Diana's Cocina said...

I agree! This could easily become my favorite.

Ana Powell said...

Fabulous and so delicious x

Karen said...

This sounds hearty and refreshing at the same time. I need to try this one before our 'soup weather' runs out!

Maryrose said...

Hi Mary,
This sounds delicious. I have never met a soup I didn't like and this one looks to be no exception. I have never had Avgolemono soup and this will be a definite must try...thanks so much for sharing your good tastes.

Michael Toa said...

Hi Mary.
The soup looks lovely and I'll definitely give this a try.

ps. yes, I think I am hooked :)

♥ Kathy said...

Chicken, lemon and rice. YUM.

Big Dude said...

Your dishes are always so sophisticated - even soup.

Mary said...

Bonnie, I'm so glad you enjoyed the soda bread. Ina's recipes are truly wonderful.

Aysha said...

An amazing recipe....love this soup....

Lady Ren said...

I love a creamy chicken soup but I never make them- I will try this one over the weekend- I suspect three out of four in my house will say yum.

hobby baker said...

Lol, here's to being a mess and still making good food!

Hungry Dog said...

Hey, I'm pro-deli chickens too! They're good and such a great time saver! No shame there. This soup looks awesome.

Maria said...

My hubs favorite soup! I can't wait to make it for him!

Joanne said...

I think a huge part of learning to cook at home is figuring out where you can cut corners and where you can't. I'm a big fan of boxed chicken broth and even frozen veggies on occasion. And I am NOT ashamed of that. This soup looks so light and delicious...love the infusion of lemon.

tasteofbeirut said...

I have never tasted this soup but heard so much about it! It must taste wonderful!

Debbie said...

I have always wanted to try this soup. I also like shortcuts!!!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I have always wanted to try this soup. It looks delicious!
I am a firm believer in AND.
We keep dry pasta and make fresh. Homemade stock and store bought. Cartons of ice cream and fresh churned...
It is good to have the ability to make a quicker meal when you need to.

Bob said...

I've never had this before, I must try it! I love lemon and I bet the eggs give the soup a marvelous mouth feel.

Mommy Gourmet said...

canned broth... you didn't get the chicken from your personal chicken house and spend days making a broth that would make the gods weep??? No you clearly are not a "foodie." :)

I love short cuts. I agree, I would rather spend the time enjoying the company than impressing them...

Oh and this soup, sounds amazing. I have a particular love for lemon though.

Andreas said...

Interesting soup variation.

Here on Germany there's even more hair-splitting, with people arguing whether they consider themselves
a foodie, an amateur cook or a hobby cook.

And let's just note that we might disagree on frozen vegetables and move on to more important things.

Penny said...

I'm with you Mary. Deli Chicken, boxed broth and frozen vegies serve as tasty ingredients in my everyday kitchen. This soup looks so nourishing and satisfying.

The Diva on a Diet said...

I love deli chickens and canned broth too ... and I really love your short-cut recipe for Avgolemono. It looks fantastic!

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

I jus so know that will love this hearty soup with all ur delicious additions ,i love a squeeze of lime in my soups:-)))
cheers and fantastic day Mary!!!

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

I have been dying to make this soup ever since trying a pork dish at a local restaurant with an amazing 'Avgolemono' inspired sauce. I could literally drink the stuff it's so delicious. And YES - I love you standing up for shortcuts. They're okay sometimes. In fact I'd rather cook more with them than cook less without them:)

A Year on the Grill said...

First, a great soup and one Ihave everything I need to make. So we may be seeing this soon.

Next... You know this already, but you are a genius. My flous was too dense. I sifted, used less and the bread I made today came out great... Thanks for the tip..

As to foodie. i feel like I can almost claim that title... Ages (and I don;t have that much time left) before I would dream of using a word like gourmet to describe me. But, it is semantics and I have been called worse.

Thanks again

Joe Ambrosino said...

Great recipe, Mary. I'm with you on the use of shortcuts to a point. Of course, I have more free time,so I can afford to be a "foodie", but I would recommend adding a piece of onion,carrot and celery to the canned broth and simmering it for awhile before you use it. It freshens the taste. Also, I prefer Swanson's, how about you?

Katy ~ said...

I don't take umbrage with the word "foodie", though words ending in "ie" tend to be dimunitive; gourmet is a little too high brow for a hillbilly like me, though I think. We need to come up with another word.

I have been thinking of making this soup for a long time but have procrastinated. This version sounds wonderful.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never tried this!


And I love fried food, but I rarely eat it. Unfortunately.

Velva said...

A Greek soup made with lemon and rice seems like it would have a fresh lemon flavor. I need to try to make this recipe too. I know I would really like it.

Sweet and Savory said...

It makes me feel more secure knowing that a cook, as talented as you are, does use frozen vegetable, also.

I would, rather, any day, pull out some frozen corn, than go to the store for corn on the cob which is most likely, not fresh.

We used to grow all our vegetables and after tasting fresh corn and fresh peas, one knows that the rest are poor substitutions, which does not stop me from using frozen.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I have been craving this exact soup, and kept meaning to search for recipes. I found it. I need look no further. It's so simple to make, but one of my very favorite soups. So Spring!

Claudia said...

I love this fresh lemony soup and have never made it. Always was a restaurant item for me. Hmmmm, things are going to change now.

SashaInTheKitchen said...

This looks AMAZING. My husband is of greek ancestry and would LOVE if I made this sometime. Fabulous recipe

Di said...

Hello Mary, I'm trying to play catch-up on your blog and wonderful recipes. Avgolemono, one of my favorite soups; my Mother worked for a Greek man when I was growing up and perhaps that is why I love Greek food. I have made the soup several times as he did, but this looks like a very fine time saver. Thank you.

jlc10719 said...

I just made this for dinner tonight. I would recommend less rice, maybe 1/4c and modify the lemon juice to your taste. I thought the lemon flavor was a bit too strong. I really did like the soup we ate it with crunchy bread.

Kittyjb said...

My girlfriend had a Greek friend who taught her this recipe, of course it was from scatch and in the 60's. She and i would make this soup often. I love shortcuts also ,but boiling chicken to make chicken stock is so easy and not time consuming since chicken can simmer in 30 minutes or less. I always have more broth then I need, so I freeze it for soup like this.

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